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A program database file for Grand Theft Auto 5 has reportedly leaked, shedding light on some seemingly scrapped plans.
The file holds debug and project state information that a debugger can work with, and fans have been using it to uncover traces of code that appear to refer to abandoned concepts. It’s not currently known how old the database file is.
As reported by Twitter user @billsyliamgta, the file includes a text string which contains a reference to Bully 2, alongside other titles such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Midnight Club Los Angeles and Red Dead Redemption 2.
@billsyliamgta also notes that the file makes reference to Trevor with a jetpack, which he says is evidence that story DLC planned for the game was abandoned and reworked into GTA Online missions (in this case, the Doomsday Heist mission).
Another Twitter user, @GlowDevs, points out that the database has numerous references to ‘CNC’, which appears to be the planned Cops ‘n’ Crooks mode.
Although the mode was never officially confirmed, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported last year that it was going to split players into police officers and criminals, but was “quietly shelved” after the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in 2020.
VGC reported back in 2019 that Bully 2 was in development at Rockstar New England, but that development fizzled out after around 18 months.
VGC understood that the studio spent more than a year working on the sequel to 2006 fan favourite Bully in the early 2010s, going as far as to create a playable build with basic open-world gameplay.
Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser and a handful of his most trusted developers wrote a script for Bully 2 as early as 2008, which contained the first few scenes and an outline of the rest of the story, according to sources with knowledge of development.
However, to this day a sequel to Bully has never been officially announced.